Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease where the immune system turns against parts of the body it’s designed to protect. This leads to inflammation and can affect many different body systems, including joints, blood cells and organs.
Lupus can be difficult to diagnose and can range from mild to life threatening in severity. With treatment and non-organ-threatening complications, 80-90 percent of those affected can look forward to a normal life span.
Lupus can occur at any age and in either sex. Women are often diagnosed during the childbearing years, between the ages of 15 and 45. African Americans, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans have a higher risk for lupus. However, it can affect any ethnic group.